Rick and me
"Why for haven's sake have you chosen to become a column writer?" people sometimes ask me.
I consider questions as these stupid and I hate to answer stupid questions.
But to get rid of a misunderstanding for once and forever I will answer one more time.
I became a column writer because they pay me for a job for which I do not have to sweat all day long and' for me it is a kind of obsession to open eyes.
After all I had better become a painter since there is no other profession that offers so many frantic opportunities.
Without any exertion he can get even the most beautiful model out of her clothes.
What a contrast with the average fellow man who sweats blood and tears to achieve the same thing.
A painter only has to flow his brush that symbolises the immortality of his art and as if by magic the prettiest females drop their clothes to pose on an ice cold stage.
Others ask when I started writing and why I do not always stick to pigeons.
Well, I wrote my first article when I was still a 'snotty nose', back in 1974.
In those days there were 1,400 fanciers in a neighbouring city alone of which hardly 200 are left today.
People had pigeons for fun and to win money in the races, today many focus on selling and selling only.
They make dance passes with press men to get good publicity, they make fancy catalogues full of big names and strains, they have their own web site and these things work.
My first loft report was about Jan Zoontjens in the National pigeon magazine NPO.
When it was published I was as proud as a 13 year old girl of her first bra.
I got a letter from Piet de Weerd himself who stated that it was the best report he had ever read. I still keep it.
Then a new pigeon magazine was founded and I was in the staff.
I will never forget the first meeting.
Roger was there (pronounce Rodzjee) Rick, Mark (pronounce Mark) Chantal (pronounce Sjantal) and others.
Chantal was one of those blond sex bombs with boobs that took the breath away of every normal man.
When she once bowed down Mark's eyes fell so deep into her d'collet' that he staggered and had to hold on to the table in order not to collapse and faint.
He was a heavy smoker (84 cigarettes per day) but after one lung was removed he cut it down to 42 a day.
Later on I only heard about Chantal and Rick.
Chantal moved to Amsterdam and became a very hospitable woman provided the visitor had a 100 euro cash with him.
Rick and me, both extremely talented writers (;-)) became the best of friends.
Rick was kind of questionable though.
It was said he fell for men but so what? We were friends and who cares then?
I remember the day that the famous duo Rick and AS entered caf' 'the fancy fancier'.
Fans who want to see that place forget it, since it has got another name.
It is now called 'caf' Kleine Dirk' since fanciers often argue there about the question who owns most children of 'Kleine Dirk'.
Anyway, when we entered I ordered 40 beers as usual, 25 for me and 15 for Rick since he was a moderate drinker.
You should have seen us then. I wearing my jeans and Rick in his pink see through blouse, both having lots of fun.
Till Gust entered.
Gust was a writer as well and was always pissed off when he saw us.
'Thick necks, ass holes, braggers, bastards' were the terms he mostly used since he had great talents for prose.
Bad luck for Gust that Rick and me had just decided not to buy such terms any more.
Rick kicked him at a vulnerable place for men, I put his beard on fire and put a sausage in each of his nostrils.
Then Gust left even without saying good bye which we did not understand.
From then on he has never written a positive word about me, I wonder why.
But Rick and me stayed friends, though he did not understand one shit of soccer, one of my passions.
He did not know what 'off side' meant, at a throw in he called 'hands' and in the second half he cheered when the opponent had scored, since he did not realise that the teams had changed sides.
Then we lost sight of each other for many years.
I had settled down in Baarle Nassau (city of dreams), Rick in Antwerp.
Antwerp is the place for men who fall for men, in Baarle Nassau there were only two of such people 'Skew eyed Cees' and his lover 'Fons the lice catcher'.
He was called like that since he was scratching at all kinds of possible and impossible places of his body all day long.
He was troubled by lice he said.
Till he tried me and since then his name is not 'Fons the lice catcher' but 'Blind Fons' because if a man wants to scratch me somewhere he is in trouble, I can tell you.
But Rick has made it. He became the second best pigeon writer in Europe.
We are not young any more but still look good and when once a beautiful blond thought we were about 35 Rick was so nice to her that I feared people behind the Great Wall must have heard her screech.
It was the day that I knew for sure Rick was straight.
Why bother you with all this you may wonder?
Well, today is a terrible winter day that forces me to stay inside and filled with melancholy I cannot stop thinking about the past.
Pigeon sport was more fun then. On racing day we fought for money, on other days we were friends and most importantly we enjoyed.
Today we have much more to enjoy life but I miss those laughs.
For some fanciers pigeons have become a way of life and a living as well.
And only when they are 80 or so and look back they realise they forgot to live.
But there will be no way back, not even one day.
There is more in life than money and pigeons dear reader!
Enjoy your day!